One more home lost

The West Bank’s Seven Corners apartment complex has been an essential source for comfortable and affordable student housing since it opened in 1984. At current rates, students pay only $390 per month for their own room in a two bedroom and one bathroom apartment. But a co-owner’s tentative plan to buy-out the other owners and eventually open up 20 percent as low-income housing will further limit affordable student housing on campus, which is already in desperate need of housing students can afford without giving up quality.
Formally presented in October, the Community Development Corporation’s plan, which would alter the building’s composition through attrition rather than by evicting residents, would guarantee the owners up to $1 million in a tax-exempt bond. Although the metro area could use additional low-income housing, a more important need on campus is middle income housing, allowing students who do not qualify for low-income to find an affordable abode.
The recent proliferation of more high-end housing like Dinnakin, University Village and the luxurious GrandMarc has made finding a home more difficult for students in the middle, between rich and poor. University housing serves this part of the community little better.
Though the University’s undergraduate population is about 45,000, it can currently only accommodate 5,724 in its residence halls, whose living quarters are not much cheaper than the ones in Dinnakin and University Village, yet lack many of the amenities.
According to the University Real Estate Office there is not much University land left near campus suitable for more housing development. The office argues, however, that all its land sales in recent years have been to developers like Dinnakin Properties to alleviate the shortage.
This apparent movement away from affordable student housing is an unfortunate trend the Seven Corner’s plan would only continue.